Year 4

Letter 12: Who do you say I am?

We have been exploring the importance of self-knowledge on two levels: self-knowledge of the ego and the blocks it presents on the spiritual journey and true self-knowledge of the ground of our bei

Letter 11: The challenge of leaving self behind

We have seen the importance and difficulty of leaving our thoughts behind.

Letter 10: The Art of Listening

We have often heard it said that meditation is simple but not easy. Let’s consider for a moment in what way that is true.

Letter 9: Meditation is for everyone

We are so used to thinking of ourselves as ‘basically sinful’ that we find it difficult to accept the Scriptural confirmation that ‘The Kingdom [Presence] of God is within us’ and that we are ‘Temp

Letter 8: Original Blessing

The firm conviction of John Main that “Jesus has sent his Spirit to dwell within us, making all of us temples of holiness: God dwelling within us….We know then that we share in the nature of God” w

Letter 7: Two strands of Christianity

We have seen how important contemplative prayer was to the Early Church Fathers Clement and Origen and the Desert Fathers and Mothers and how John Main rediscovered, in the writing of Cassian, medi

Letter 6: John Main and the Early Church Fathers

We have seen, how delighted John Main was to read in Cassian of the way of prayer that was so important to him personally. But that is not the only way Cassian’s teaching resonated with John Main.

Letter 5: The mantra sings in our heart

Having been taught by Swami Satyanada to meditate by repeating a mantra, a sacred word or phrase, during the whole of the period of prayer, it is not surprising that Cassian’s emphasis on using a s

Letter 4: The true meaning of poverty

In ‘The Gethsemani Talks’ John Main is talking to fellow monks, for whom the vow of ‘poverty’ is very important. But not only in the religious life has the virtue of ‘poverty’ significance.

Letter 3: From the Mind to the Heart

Meditation allowed John Main to move in prayer from discursive prayer to silent prayer, from the mind to the heart.